• We invite you to join UKWorkshop.
    Members can turn off viewing Ads!

Electric vehicles

UKworkshop.co.uk

Help Support UKworkshop.co.uk:

TominDales

Established Member
Joined
21 Jan 2021
Messages
157
Reaction score
111
Location
Ripon
When looking at Nuclear as a power source you have to look at the whole picture, not just the nice parts to get the true cost. To initially just build the cost are astronomic, just look at Hinkley C, quote.

"The group, which is financing the construction of the plant along with its junior partner CGN of China, said it expected the project in Somerset to cost up to £23bn compared with a 2019 estimate of a maximum of £22.5bn "

Then the runing cost , a high maintenance cost due to license compliance, site security and then decomisioning and of course the long term storage of spent fuel so it no longer paints such a rosy picture. Then what about what you cannot put a value on, people having to live with a potential like Fukushima on their doorstep so in reality it is like asbestos, a great idea at the time but should no longer be considered.
Unless you live in France, where rolling out a throughout out design on mass has given them the lowest cost low carbon electricity in Europe for years. its only now that wind power is challenging it in terms of cost.
The UK is not such a pretty picture.
I visited Sellafield on business last year and was shocked to find that normal nuclear power makes next to no waste and the fuel is relatively easily re-processed. 98% of the problematic waste pile at Sellafield was from two main sources: 1, the rush to make the bomb in the 1950s - still a huge legacy to clean up. 2, the 1984 miners strike, when the CEGB (on instruction) ran the power stations flat out and made -off spec waste. Its still hanging around to this day. More waste was made that year than all the other years put together. A bit remains from various experimental reactors but modern reactors produce very little waste about 25tonnes a year per for a Gw reactor and about 1/3 of that is recycled.
Sellafield is a sombre place it contains our entire history of nuclear waste all in one place. However when you think about it, its all in one place. Whereas the waste from other industries is scattered everywhere. The ocean is full of plastic waste for example. If we scooped it all up and put it in one place it would fill Cumbria. Its this perspective that makes nuclear power less of a nonsensical option. The waste from the old wind turbines being decommissioned in Scotland is huge and if not done properly will also damage the environment, the carbon fibre, concrete, iron ore etc all do damage to the environment and damage our health. As is well known, coal fired power stations emit more Uranium in the fly ash than nuclear plants do.
There is no doubt that nuclear power and radioactivity are highly hazardous industries and need to be properly managed and regulated but our media get the risks out of proportion with scare stories. I'm not a particular fan of nuclear power, but I hate it when the media distorts the facts to make their arguments, so that we the public get misled and cant make rational decisions.

In our lifetime, 45% of our radiation dose comes from medical procedures, another 30% from natural radon and Thorium in the environment, the rest from natural foods including the highly toxic potassium 40 (in small quantities), our exposure from industrial nuclear, including accidents at Chernobyl, Windscreen, 3 mile, Fukushima is 0.1%, so it gets an unjustified bad press. Another example to put things in perspective is the BED this is the radioactivity in a banana equivalent! (from K40), people living in Fukushima were exposed to about 300 Bananas worth of radiation in the first year. And the journalists flying home from Tokyo got more radiation in the plane (much more cosmic radiation) than those on the ground!

Nuclear waste and the industry is a lot less hazardous than, things we accept everyday, the body is quite tolerant to small amounts of radioactivity in the environment, we have evolved to cope with the natural background radiation. Most emissions and leaks don't give off waste in a form that is readily ingested, which helps. That does not mean it isn't extremely hazardous but does explain why so few people have died or been maimed by radioactivity compared with say Asbestos, which incidentally is more toxic than plutonium.
Now for the cost, for years the UK industry (old CEGB) hid the true cost of nuclear power and allowed for some expensive glory projects such as fast reactors etc. That has now become much more transparent and on a proper commercial footing, which is why innovation and investment is focussing on SMRs or small reactors that can be build in a factory as opposed to the super large reactors like Hinkley point - a decision made is a rush in my view as the government had procrastinated for so long it risked putting the UK lights out.
Whilst Nuclear power has many downsides, its hazards and risks, it is highly likely to be part of the energy mix of the future for very rational reasons, it complements wind and solar power, is cleaner than coal and oil and is low carbon. Given the planet is threatened with climate change that will kill and wreck the lives of millions, governments will choose nuclear as one of the ways out of the current predicament they face.
Incidentally the green lobby used to say how Hinkley electric would cost £90 Mwh vs solar at 43.3p kwh solar feed in tariff (back in 2011). but that was deliberately mixing units, as £430.3 Mwh was the true comparison. Its now 5.3p or £53. Now that the costs have fallen they have stopped using this argument. The feed in tariff subsidy has cost about £8bn, probably necessary to get the industry stated. We pay it through the carbon tax on our bills.
We are hopefully far from the time in the 1950s where they were considering nuclear power for commercial shipping and even nuclear mining, but the sensible use of nuclear is rational when compared with all the other methods of generating energy and the huge risks we are taking with the environment that go unseen.
 
Last edited:

Lons

Established Member
Joined
14 Feb 2010
Messages
7,687
Reaction score
386
Location
Northumberland
Basic physics would suggest a reduction of 35-50% in mpg - crudely energy is consumed (EV or ICE) to make progress:
  • Weight - towing a caravan weighing ~ 1 ton with a car weighing 1.5 tons adds 67% to the weight "package"
  • Aerodynamics - the frontal area of a caravan is around 36 sq ft compared to a typical medium hatch of ~ 22 sq ft. The shape has more in common with a brick than an arrow!
  • Caravanners may drive more slowly than unencumbered vehicles!
Figures for individual vehicles and caravans may differ.
Not always basic physics Terry though I can't fault your reasoning, there are a lot of variables which is why i guess you quote a 15% variation in your calcs. Car shape, mine for example is more streamlined than a boxy Discovery, an estate car has different aerodynamics than a hatch or saloon, caravan frontal shapes aren't all the same and it also depends on front windows, rooflights, aerials and the shape of the rear end. Cars might have bike rack or roof boxes some even a spoiler on the roof, much depends on the rolling resistance, 2 or 4 wheels and how it's been maintained, poor loading can cause it to waft around which changes towcar consumption and as I said the weight of the vehicle is important to keep the outfit stable and the size and type of engin / gearbox dictates how hard it has to work therebye affecting consumption.

Working for the manufacturer showed that the only possible method to give accurate comparisons was identical outfits, exactly the same loading in exactly the same atmospheric conditions and using the same driver. Real world towing and performance can be very different to mathematical models.

BTW you must have noticed that a modern powerful car towing a stable 4 wheel caravan can shift along quite easily at 70mph on the motorway, not that they should of course! Not all caravans hold up traffic and often on a single carriage country road where they are limited to 50mph rather than 60 you'll find the actual hold up is a little car at the front doing 40 and the caravanner can't get past, whenever that happened to me I'd pull over in the next layby for 10 minutes.
 

Lons

Established Member
Joined
14 Feb 2010
Messages
7,687
Reaction score
386
Location
Northumberland
People who despoil areas like that are scum Chris and I know what I'd do to them unfortunately it's the times we live in with many having no respect. It isn't caravaners doing that in your pic it's idiots with small tents and despicable habits.

The hedge of my paddock borders the main A road into our village and we were out there last week where we filled 2 bin bags with cartons, cans and bottles thrown on to the verge from passing cars, says it all really.
Like you I sit and watch the queues on the road with a coffee or a beer in my hand this weekend, a couple of weeks later we'll have another little spike in covid cases to boot.
 

TominDales

Established Member
Joined
21 Jan 2021
Messages
157
Reaction score
111
Location
Ripon
I'd hate to think what towing a caravan does to the real range of the car and of course the manufacturers won't tell you that. As well as weight and wind resistance caravans depend on the towing vehicle for lights and running a fridge on 12v and you aren't supposed to run on gas whilst towing, also modern tow systems often rely on electrical safety systems which all draw current, not an issue with ICE as the battery is being charged whilst driving.
I suspect it will be a while before the manufacturers address this market. HGVs are being launched so I suspect Campervans will come in first.
Near us is Sutton Bank, a switchback climb up to the moors. In the early days of caravans and low-power cars (ca 1970) a caravan got stuck half way and blocked the road to Scarborough for 12 hours. They have banned caravans ever since, although I suspect a modern SUV would cope.

You will probably be able buy a power pack for the caravan - add some weight, but would give the range extension most would be looking for. Maybe an idea for a new line at Halfords
 
Last edited:

TRITON

Established Member
Joined
5 Oct 2014
Messages
521
Reaction score
277
Location
Scotland
When me and mate arrive anywhere wild camping here in Scotland(usually areas frequented by other wild campers) we walk the area and pick up every scrap of litter we can find, although its usually clear due to being difficult to get to and beyond the scope of the teens and drunkards that are the main culprits for that type of littering, it isnt always but mostly, but we walk the area anyway and totally clean up even the smallest bit of paper.
Same when leaving. Deposit bin bag in car and put it in a wayside bin on the route home.

It seriously pees me off seeing mess like that.
 

Rorschach

The end is nigh.
Joined
6 Jan 2016
Messages
5,025
Reaction score
624
Location
Devon
Not as simple as that.
When towing with a normal ICE and while torque comes into the equation which EVs have plenty of but with an ICE the heavier and more powerful the towcar is the less it will suffer when towing, depends on many other things a high reving, high geared sports car will suffer more than a gutsy SUV for example both in engine performance and wind drag.
As an example a previous Audi A6 avant with 2 litre deisel engine would return me around 40+ solo which dropped to high 20s when towing using 8 spd auto all the time, my current SUV with about 20bhp more and 9 speed auto has similar solo but low 30s towing the same caravan. Less gear changes and higher tow vehicle are the main reasons.

Either way an EV, at the current stage of development should be viewed with caution as a potential towcar.
Sorry I meant powerful as in battery range rather than "sportyness", bad choice of words. I am looking at EV's for towing based purely on how far you can travel. I am sure plenty of EV's coming onto the market will be able to tow, but if you can only do a couple of hundred miles at best in a day (and a very boring day at that) that is no good for touring.

An EV camper is probably not quite so bad in that regard as campers are a lot more versatile than caravans.
 

Just4Fun

Established Member
Joined
21 Sep 2017
Messages
700
Reaction score
142
Location
Finland
I am at the extreme ends on the towing spectrum.

At the short end of the spectrum the only real towing I do with my own vehicle is to tow a trailer around locally. The trailer is bigger than a typical camping trailer; long enough but not quite wide enough to carry a vehicle. I have the trailer as an alternative to owning a van. I use it for mainly local journeys, getting materials or furniture from stores and similar tasks. I rarely do more than 100 km per day whilst towing this trailer. I believe I could easily do this with an electric vehicle - if only it would also suit my non-towing needs.

At the long end of the spectrum a few times per (normal, non-covid) year I travel in a friend's motorhome behind which we pull a large box trailer to carry a competition car. We might drive from Finland to Germany, France or Spain and on those trips we try to average over 800 km per day. 1000 km per day is a target we never seem to hit but 800+ is normal. I don't see any way we could manage anything like that whilst towing with an electric vehicle.
 

Droogs

Is that chisel shar ... Ow
Joined
14 Mar 2013
Messages
4,113
Reaction score
1,163
Location
Edinburgh
I think the main point about the EV6 most seem to be missing is that yes it can tow 1.5 tonne but as standard it is fitted with 400/800V rapid charging so 18 minutes to get to 80% on a 77Kwh (usable power) btty. So given that it is generally a bit more tiring to drive a larger vehicle like a camper/motorhome, a BEV M/H /camper could do the longer mileage in a couple of years time, if you were happy to take a break every 3 hours or so of driving - if and it's a big if - the charging infrastructure is available. To me it is not the car that is/will be the limiting factor but the how much and what type of investment is made in each country regarding the charging infrastucture.
 

Rorschach

The end is nigh.
Joined
6 Jan 2016
Messages
5,025
Reaction score
624
Location
Devon
Remember also that the charging area needs to accommodate a caravan. Not seen any charging points yet that are big enough for that.
 

Droogs

Is that chisel shar ... Ow
Joined
14 Mar 2013
Messages
4,113
Reaction score
1,163
Location
Edinburgh
That is a really good point, I don't think it has crossed the mind of most of the designers of the main charge points on the highway that indeed they will need to give access to towing vehicles down the road. So instead of just bays maybe a couple of mini terminals like for hgv presently
 

Rorschach

The end is nigh.
Joined
6 Jan 2016
Messages
5,025
Reaction score
624
Location
Devon
Yes it's going to be an issue for a while I think as we make a transition especially when not travelling along the motorway network. I think a lot of people forget that there are large parts of the country that are not served by motorways and large service stations. These places also happen to be the areas that are very popular with caravanners.
As it currently stands using an EV to tow a caravan to Cornwall would be a major hassle from a charging point of view. Your last major service station that most would be happy to pull into with a caravan is at Taunton, that's 150 miles from Helston for instance. Towing with an ICE, no problem, fill up at Taunton and you will have plenty to get you to your caravan park and then take you out on a day trip to top up. Doing that with an EV, well you would be lucky to make it there even on a full charge and then you are unlikely to be able to charge your vehicle at the caravan park itself.
 

TominDales

Established Member
Joined
21 Jan 2021
Messages
157
Reaction score
111
Location
Ripon
When me and mate arrive anywhere wild camping here in Scotland(usually areas frequented by other wild campers) we walk the area and pick up every scrap of litter we can find, although its usually clear due to being difficult to get to and beyond the scope of the teens and drunkards that are the main culprits for that type of littering, it isnt always but mostly, but we walk the area anyway and totally clean up even the smallest bit of paper.
Same when leaving. Deposit bin bag in car and put it in a wayside bin on the route home.

It seriously pees me off seeing mess like that.
We generally take our rubbish bags back home as the wayside bins in the Lakes, Northumberland, Scotland just weren't made for the scale of picnicking these days.
Our town council (Ripon - a gateway to the Dales...) employs bin people to clean the streets and parks of litter to make the place nice for tourists. But it encourages certain types to just dump their litter. I'd prefer to see some old fashioned enforcement and zero tolerance of this habit. The place looks good, much better than 30 years ago, but its now a business/ cost to the community. They get a piece of my mind when I catch them.
 

TominDales

Established Member
Joined
21 Jan 2021
Messages
157
Reaction score
111
Location
Ripon
Yes it's going to be an issue for a while I think as we make a transition especially when not travelling along the motorway network. I think a lot of people forget that there are large parts of the country that are not served by motorways and large service stations. These places also happen to be the areas that are very popular with caravanners.
I very much doubt these issues are being considered by the auto industry right now.

This strikes me as a business opportunity. There will be fast charging ports needed for HGVs through the main road networks, where HGVs park up will need a charging point. This would be the obvious place for other large vehicles.
Also it would make sense to put some range extending batteries into future caravans. They potentially have the space, it maybe something that one could rent for the duration of a holiday.

We are obviously at the state of development similar to ICE in the 1930s when trunk roads were first being rolled out and finding petrol stations needed a Michelin guide, the RAC / AA were a lifeline.
My grandfather used to start so many stories with in sometime 1946 to 1955, we spent 3 days in this random town on our way home from holiday because the axel/big end/etc broke in Devon/Cornwall and we stayed in this coaching inn for 3 days while the local garage welded the parts back on.
 

Rorschach

The end is nigh.
Joined
6 Jan 2016
Messages
5,025
Reaction score
624
Location
Devon
There are already caravans with built in batteries and powered axles, they help solve some of the range problems (they basically make up for the reduction) but you still have the charging issues and now you need to charge 2 batteries.
 

Geoff_S

Established Member
Joined
12 Sep 2017
Messages
735
Reaction score
47
Location
London
Could you put a couple of alternators/generators/dynamos on the caravan wheels?
 

Spectric

Established Member
Joined
19 Feb 2015
Messages
1,262
Reaction score
501
Location
North Cumbria
Our town council (Ripon - a gateway to the Dales...) employs bin people to clean the streets and parks of litter to make the place nice for tourists.
That is not addressing the issue, just resolving the outcome. The question is why are people these days so happy to discard their litter in the first place, does that show just how little they actually care for the enviroment or are they just very selfish and only care about themselves.

I am sure many will have seen the state of the London parks following just one day out of lockdown, what sort of people now inhabit the city that can just walk away and leave such a mess for others to clear up, personally I would just leave it as a monument to the people so they can then live in their own dung.

What is needed is on the spot fines of say £500 that then goes to pay for clearup and then they have to do 1000 hours of community work to clean their local area.
 

Spectric

Established Member
Joined
19 Feb 2015
Messages
1,262
Reaction score
501
Location
North Cumbria
Thats always a problem, the punishment is pointless without be implemented so not only don't the dirty people care for the enviroment and are also just very selfish, the law enforcers also do not see it as an offence worth pursuing. Lets have microchipping because then you would know who was in the park at the time of the littering and just send out the fines, no police needed.
 

Latest posts

Top